Doug Liman resists paths of convention. The director, who’s always prided himself as a rule-breaker, typically doesn’t follow trends but establishes them. Look at The Bourne Identity, Swingers, and even Mr. & Mrs. Smith – other movies have tried to copy their success. Once again, Liman ventured into uncharted territory with Locked Down.
Liman shot the heist movie, which is more of a relationship drama, during the ongoing lockdown in London. There is a third act heist involving the garish Harrods department store, but it’s not the main focus of the HBO Max release. The first 90 minutes of Locked Down are a suitably, dizzyingly claustrophobic experience that depicts a couple crumbling during the pandemic.
It was only months ago when Liman started shooting the Steven Knight-written movie, which was quickly filmed, edited, and sold to HBO Max. As Liman stated, the surreal experience began when he flew his “little prop plane” over the Atlantic on a two-day journey to London.
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Posted on Friday, January 15th, 2021 by Fred Topel
The good news was that Cobra Kai season 3 premiered on Netflix earlier than previously annoyed. The bad news was that meant we couldn’t schedule an interview with creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald until the new year. It was a small price to pay for getting Cobra Kai early, especially for the fans who’ve been waiting almost two years since season 2 on YouTube.
Season 3 dealt with the aftermath of the high school battle royale that ended the previous season and left Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) in the hospital. Daniel (Ralph Macchio) went to Okinawa to save his auto dealership and reconnected with some Karate Kid II characters. The Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do kids kept fighting throughout the season, but the season finale set up a new battle for the future.
Hurwitz, Schlossberg and Heald spoke with /Film by phone this week about season 3 of Cobra Kai and where things might be headed in season 4, which Netflix has already ordered. Cobra Kai seasons 1 through 3 are on Netflix now.
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Matt Shakman knows his sitcom history. No really, he does. The director of WandaVision, the upcoming Marvel Disney+ series that pays homage to the past five decades of classic American situation comedies, has been on the other side of the camera in numerous shows, acting in the Growing Pains spin-off Just the Ten of Us, and appearing in shows like The Facts of Life, Highway to Heaven, Diff’rent Strokes, and more.
“When I was a kid I like to hang out with the camera operators and the director and be in the control room and see them calling shots,” Shakman told /Film in an interview ahead of the Disney+ debut of WandaVision. “And so I always thought about maybe moving into directing, so it was fun to finally find myself, you know, behind the camera on a multi-cam sitcom.”
It felt serendipitous when Marvel approached him to take on WandaVision, even though his directing background was almost on the polar opposite of sitcoms, with episodes of Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Succession under his belt. But because of this wide resume, Shakman “got to use every tool in my toolkit,” he said.
Read our full interview with Shakman below.
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Kevin Feige couldn’t have anticipated back in 2017 that the little TV experiment that he dreamed up – a send-up of classic sitcoms revolving around Elizabeth Olsen‘s Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany‘s Vision – would become the auspicious introduction to Marvel Studios’ “Phase 4,” the next era of stories after the decade-long “Infinity Saga.” But perhaps it’s appropriate that “Marvel Studios’ first foray into longform narrative storytelling TV is an homage to TV, [and] is something that could not have been done as a movie,” Feige told /Film in an interview ahead of the Disney+ debut of WandaVision.
“And…I hope all of the shows we’re doing currently for Disney+, and all the movies we’ve ever made, try to showcase an advancement and a progression in storytelling, to the types of stories that we can tell with these characters in Marvel Studios,” Feige added.
Those stories may lead into more Marvel Cinematic Universe films — it has been confirmed WandaVision will lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with the confirmed appearance of Olsen’s Wanda in the Doctor Strange sequel — or into further seasons of these Disney+ shows.
“It’s a combination of both of those things just based on where the story is taking us,” Feige said.
Read on for our full interview with Feige on WandaVision.
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Though Black Widow was originally intended to kick off the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the coronavirus pandemic has made it so that the first Marvel Studios series on Disney+ ushers in the next era of comic book storytelling. That series is WandaVision, and if the early buzz is any indicator, it’s a series that will be unlike anything we’ve seen in the MCU, and that’s what Marvel boss Kevin Feige is striving for with their upcoming slate of new movies and TV shows. Read More »
Robert Rodriguez has made a throwback to his Spy Kids and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl days. We Can Be Heroes is another Rodriguez kids’ movie full of rainbow colors, unrestrained giddiness, and childlike imagination. The original Netflix superhero movie is wish-fulfillment for children. It’s also another movie that feels hand-crafted by Rodriguez, a famously do-it-yourself filmmaker.
It’s a big month for the director, who reintroduced audiences to Boba Fett in a killer episode of The Mandalorian. Both the director’s entry in the Star Wars universe and addition to Netflix’s library bears his signature eye for playful escapism. With almost 30 years in the business, Rodriguez’s childlike wonder for filmmaking remains firmly intact.
That enthusiasm comes through on-screen and even over the phone when you interview the Austin-based director, who recently told us about the benefits of creating original properties, lessons from George Lucas and James Cameron, and his fond memories from making Alita: Battle Angel.
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Soul marks another step forward for Pixar into fascinating narrative storytelling that is not only meant for young children. In fact, this may be the least kid-centric movie they’ve made in quite some time.
Don’t get me wrong – the movie is very good and has plenty of the typical Pixar qualities we’ve come to expect from that studio. But a film about a middle school band teacher who finally gets his big break in music, only to quickly fall into a manhole and be whisked away to another plane of existence to learn how souls work? That’s pretty damn ambitious, and it’s yet another example of how the studio often pushes beyond the most basic version of a story when one of their films is making its way through Pixar’s rigorous process of building, breaking down, and rebuilding a movie to get it right.
A few weeks ago, we spoke with Pete Docter (director/story and screenplay by), Kemp Powers (co-director/story and screenplay by), and Dana Murray (producer) about the clash between creativity and pragmatism, Soul‘s excellent score, and the thought process behind a plot decision which temporarily sidelines the studio’s first lead Black character – a decision which I suspect will generate a lot of discussion in the days ahead. Read More »
Rachel Brosnahan may be best known for starring as the title character in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but her latest project shows a very different side of the versatile actress.
Brosnahan stars in I’m Your Woman, a new thriller directed and co-written by Julia Hart that offers a unique take on a familiar cinematic template: what happens to the female characters in a gritty crime drama after they typically disappear from a male-driven plot? The film also serves as Brosnahan’s debut as a feature film producer. We spoke on the phone ahead of the film’s release on Amazon and she told us why she felt this was the right project for her, especially in the wake of her very different work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
I’m Your Woman isn’t the only Brosnahan project launching this month on Amazon Prime Video. The Emmy winner is also executive producing and appearing in the Yearly Departed comedy special. With her hit streaming series expected to resume production next year, Brosnahan spoke to us not only about her new projects, but the challenges that will come with current shooting protocols.
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We’ve seen a number of gritty crime dramas about criminals on the run. But rarely do we see one starring a woman – and a mother, at that. With I’m Your Woman, director Julia Hart turns the entire genre on its head with its focus on the female perspective.
Hart, who frequently co-writes with husband/producer Jordan Horowitz, made her directorial debut with Miss Stevens in 2016. Two years later, Hart followed up with the brilliant Fast Color. This year, Hart directs both Disney+’s Stargirl and Amazon Studios’ I’m Your Woman.
I’m Your Woman, which stars The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Rachel Brosnahan, is a thriller with a different point of view. Hart, who believes we need original stories told from new perspectives, was inspired by the 1970s thrillers like The Godfather and Thief. The film’s title owes itself to a line that Tuesday Weld tells James Caan in Michael Mann’s Thief. But instead of following the men, Hart wanted to explore what happens to the women when they are no longer on screen.
During the course of our phone conversation, Hart spoke about the writing process behind the film and collaborating with Amazon. The filmmaker also talks about working with Brosnahan, who was producing a film for the first time. Moreover, she speaks about the challenges that come with working on post-production remotely during a pandemic. Hart also opens up on pandemic life in general – both Hart and Horowitz have been able to write two screenplays during the pandemic.
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Sound of Metal is a movie pulsating with life. It’s such a gut-churning drama, the kind you feel instinctually in every passing moment. It’s a pure debut film from director Darius Marder. Prior to his Toronto Film Festival hit (now available on Amazon Prime), Marder co-wrote The Place Beyond the Pines, made his directorial debut with Loot (2008), and edited a variety of documentaries.
Marder’s experience in documentaries shows in Sound of Metal, which is about a two-person punk band drummer named Ruben (Riz Ahmed) losing his hearing. It’s also a story about addiction, community, love and time, and the search for stillness. Sound of Metal is an emotionally stirring debut that Marder recently told us about crafting.
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